Meet Ben Schlappig

Very recently, one of the pioneers of the travel hacking hobby, Ben Schlappig, was featured in an interview with the Rollingstone. Him, along with Flyertalk forum, were my sources of inspiration, and how I started the miles collecting games. I learned everything from credit churning, spending, miles running, manufactured spending, and tricks to maximize the flight experience… etc

To get an idea of what he does and how he does it, I strongly suggest that you check it out in the link below

Though, the title is quite misleading, as you can never travel for free, everything comes at a cost. But when you truly enjoy flying and traveling, this simply becomes a non-issue 😛

Policy Change for American Express

So the day has finally come – American Express Canada is following suit to it’s U.S. counterpart, putting an end to credit card churning. For those of you who are not familiar:

churning – practice where people sign up for a credit card with the purpose of obtaining the sign up bonus, then cancel the card after 6-12 months. Repeat the process once every 1-2 years.

There is now an extra item on the terms and conditions when you apply for a new card:

  • This offer is only available to new American Express Gold Rewards Cardmembers. For current or former American Express Gold Rewards Cardmembers, we may approve your application, but you will not be eligible for the welcome bonus.

This obviously changes the game a bit, so you should be looking at other ways to collect points instead of churning with American Express. Don’t get me wrong, Amex cards are still great to have, and you can still earn points through purchases, referrals, and occasional bonus events. In addition, it actually will take you a while to go through their entire offerings

amex_personal Amex_business

All the cards here are great to have, it will still take you 4 years to go through all the cards and sign up bonuses if you apply 2 each year. After 4 years, you would be eligible for sign up bonus again from the first card, then repeat the cycle.

Again, a rule of thumb with credit cards and loyalty points is to earn and burn. The game is constantly changing, so you will need to adapt. Spend the points once you’ve reached your goal, don’t wait on it!